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Old 09-28-2019, 10:34 AM
21,792 posts, read 17,238,054 times
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Originally Posted by CAN'TSITSTILL View Post
I am retired and I have always had this vision of living in a very busy downtown loft, above a quiet store. I would like to give up driving and walk, or bike everywhere. NYC is out of the picture because it is too expensive, and crowded but I havent been to too many places where this is possible. Anyone know of something or somewhere that may be more of a reality? It is just me, no kids! It would be fun to walk to the stores or coffeeshops.
I lived for 18 years in Ocean City, NJ, which has a very cute and walkable downtown. Many smaller towns, like Hammonton, NJ, Haddonfield, NJ. Pitman, NJ. They won't be big cities, but I don't think you'll find what you want in a big city.
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Old 09-28-2019, 10:50 AM
Location: DFW - Coppell / Las Colinas
32,883 posts, read 37,362,785 times
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One of my favorites is Ft Worth TX. TX has no State Income tax like Florida and TN.

Dallas also but more expensive and you'll be with a younger crowd.
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Old 09-28-2019, 11:26 AM
Location: Forests of Maine
30,989 posts, read 50,078,845 times
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I own a mixed-used Commercial / Residential building that is located in the center of a town. It has storefronts on the ground level and apartments upstairs.

I do not have any vacancies at this time.

I have single-occupancy efficiency apartments that go for $350/month if the tenant pays for utilities, or $450/month if I pay for utilities. There is a laundry room on-site available to all tenants. A metro bus stop is located immediately in front of the building. A restaurant/bar is across the street. A chain pharmacy, a VFW post and American Legion post are all located within a block away.

This is located in Old Town Maine.
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Old 09-28-2019, 12:02 PM
Location: Tucson AZ & Leipzig, Germany
2,578 posts, read 7,884,833 times
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My furnished apartment in Leipzig, Germany is something like what the OP would like, but no stores downstairs. It is not such a great idea to live above a business (IMO) because sometimes you will notice noise or smells if windows are open. Mine is a 3rd story walk-up in a stone and brick building built in 1891. The ceilings and windows are tall, the walls are massive (good sound barriers - no noise from neighbors).

Downtown is a 20 minute walk, 10 minute bike ride or 7 minute streetcar ride (service every 10 minutes). Grocery stores (Aldi & Kaufland) are 5 minutes walk. Almost everything else I need is nearby. The city is flat with good bike routes in all directions. I have explored many places within a 70 to 80 mile radius by combination of bicycle and trains. Trains run in all directions from the massive downtown train station.

Cities in the eastern part of Germany have a very low cost of living, less than it would cost me to live in any good big city in the US for a similar deal. I have been here since May and am returning soon to the US. There have been some good suggestions here. Ft Worth might be a good place for me to try from October to May, then I could come back to Germany during the warm weather months.
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Old 09-28-2019, 01:57 PM
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I'm considering Bellevue PA -- an inner ring suburb of Pittsburgh PA. Very walkable downtown with a library, banks, grocery, restaurants and a nice park where they have a farmers market during the summer. Pretty sure there's a coffee type place-- not Starbucks. Just looked it up -- Muddy Cup. Best part -- at 65, you qualify for a free bus pass, and Lincoln Ave (the main street) is on a bus line to get to Pittsburgh. Not very far away at all. As to whether or not their are rentable spaces over the storefronts like in NY? I don't think so. If there are living spaces over work spaces, I'd bet they are occupied by the business owners. Apartment rentals are in the 600-1200 range.
Solly says Be nice!
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Old 09-28-2019, 02:05 PM
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There's a shopping center in the north part of Kansas City called Zona Rosa. They have apartments above the stores that rent for $800-$1700. I thought it would be fun to live there and go to the free concerts in the summer. But I wouldn't want to deal with the stairs to get to the apartments. And I imagine it would feel confining without a car.
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Old 09-28-2019, 02:18 PM
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I am very open to the weather I have lived in both hot and cold climates. As I age things don't matter as much as they used too. I just found a very interesting article on AARP about walkable areas called 20 min villages if anyone is interested.


Last edited by CAN'TSITSTILL; 09-28-2019 at 02:33 PM..
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Old 09-28-2019, 02:38 PM
Location: Greenville, SC
711 posts, read 812,606 times
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Greenville, SC
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Old 09-28-2019, 03:35 PM
Location: New Mexico
7,144 posts, read 3,943,811 times
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I live in a very quiet place -- so quiet that I sometimes go outside to see if anyone is nearby or maybe there was a rapture and I'm the only one left. A couple weeks ago I stayed in a historic downtown hotel because I had a 7:45 AM doctor appointment and could not have made it there on time from where I live. I also "collect" historic hotels for my writing so I was taking advantage of the opportunity. The street noise kept me awake most of the night. I think living in a busy downtown would be the last thing I would want to do. Sirens, traffic, trucks, pothole ka-thump--ka-thump. Yikes -- I forgot how noisy city living is. It doesn't bother some people.

I lived in a town of about 40,000 for 35 years and it had a quaint and restored downtown of about 3-4 blocks. The commercial buildings were mixed-use with lofts on the second floor over stores or offices. It was not a super busy place but it was always active and very walkable with sidewalk cafes and shops along the shaded sidewalks. I could see taking a loft apartment in that situation.
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Old 09-28-2019, 03:54 PM
1,123 posts, read 398,087 times
Reputation: 3716
Phila, PA
Portland, ME
Newport, RI
Salem, MA
Savannah, GA
Charleston, SC

You may need to take an occasional Uber in some of these places, but overall, they could meet your objectives quite nicely.
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